I had stayed in Boston for two nights then had another place just outside of Boston to crash. This friend was someone I worked with in Arizona for a bit, both of us with San Diego roots. We had worked in different departments and chatted occasionally and he ended up leaving a bit before I did. I asked him where he was going and he said Boston. I had to seize that moment and inquired about possibly visiting during my journey. He said of course! It was fun that the time had come.
Prior to seeing him, I had some meetings to finish. I went down to CrossFit Prowess which was right next to Rhode Island. This was a connection of a previous gym which made it smoother to set up. While there I heard about the passion of coaching and having the business is something that led to a shift from a well-off career but without regrets.
I then finished off Rhode Island as I mentioned in that blog Familiar but Not. I had to make sure to make my way to my buddy’s place in plenty of time because we were going to the Red Sox game! Fenway was a park I’ve been looking to for a while. When I had reached out to my friend I asked if he wanted to go to but that there was no pressure as I’d go solo without a problem. He had been getting into the games more since moving there and was in. I had a bit of time before I was supposed to get to his spot so worked some in a nearby library.
It was fun seeing my friend and getting to know him better than when we lived in the same state. I had locked in the tickets and he locked in how we’d get to the park. The plan was to drive to the train and take that in. Made sense with the ballpark being in the city.
We cruised in and it was going to be a bit tight due to the train schedule. As we got more near I had excitement building. When we exited the train, I saw a sign and the kid in me was happy. We walked towards the stadium but didn’t have time to really take it in as the first pitch was drawing near. What didn’t help was lack of awareness, regarding how to get to the appropriate gate. It was only a moment’s hesitation before we were all settled. It felt great to be there. The seats were like a park bench, just the arm rests positioned closer for each “seat”. It was different but the stadium was familiar as I’ve seen it on TV of course.
My buddy suggested beers which I was quite ok with. Since I had already got the tickets, he covered the beers and some food too. I looked around at options, there was a classic hot dog and pretzel but also a meatball in a cone. I’m not sure if I’ve seen that or not but definitely less common. I almost got that until I realized a meatball sub would be more food for a fraction more money. Got to go with the value of food here.
It was a good game and good experience. Except that I lost a bet. The grounds crew worked the infield in between innings, but there was a call overturned and the players had to finish the inning. We had a mini debate if they would go back at the end of the inning, even though they just did. I thought it could go either way, but chose they would. Thinking they’d be too rigid, or perhaps a little rally would mess it up enough to require it. Incorrect I was. A mini rally and no further work. My friend said I didn’t have to get the beer but I’ll be damned if I don’t follow up on a bet.
The Red Sox were playing the Cardinals. I had seen Cardinals at Cubs and Red Sox at Yankees already on this journey. Fun to see such overlap. It was a solid game that got better at the end. They were behind going into the bottom of the 9th. A legit home run and then a walk off hit to cap it off. WOO! It was exciting to see a walk off in my only game at Fenway.
While it was a great time and experience I feel like in my conscious I do need to add something. Some people may not like it, but I need to say it. The stadium itself was like a bigger minor league park. I’m not saying it’s not special, I’m just saying that the stadium itself isn’t amazing. It’s the age, the history, the people, the stories through the years that make Fenway great.
We cruised back home and had a good night sleep. The next day I failed to lock in a gym as the owners were out of town for various reasons. Meanwhile a buddy of mine, which funny enough our paths have similarity in hobbies and professions, yet we’ve never actually met. That hasn’t stopped us from becoming friends as it was so natural. He put me in touch with a friend of his who co-founded a startup. I had the opportunity to meet him which was fun. It was inspiring to see someone working towards their dream of making a difference. Hearing some stories of things that worked great and lessons learned in getting funding for the project. Glad to have such a nice side experience.
As the afternoon was coming, I knew focusing on breweries was key. I came across Exhibit A Brewing and heard how they take great pride in their Kölsch beer due to the effort it takes to make it represent the style so well. From there I found another brewery but it was different. I couldn’t quite find it. I found an electronics place seemingly in the spot and asked the gentleman working. He was friendly and said they were around the other side as they ship beer from there. We had a general chat about beer and my journey which was enjoyable. I decided it’d be nice to share some Baxter beer with him so I did just that.
I then drove around to the other side looking for the brewery. As I wandered in, I saw a sign for the brewery but it was just a warehouse. They also shared an office with another company it seems. That guy said people were gone and would be back in the morning. I started to drive back towards my friend’s place and saw a brewery not too far off. It looked smaller and I thought it would be perfect. They offered free tastings, and growler fills. I walked in and the two guys working were very easy going and hospitable. The place is called 7th Wave Brewing and I heard how they maintain a growth focus with their beer over time.
That night my friend and I got some dinner at a local spot. I had a burger that also had fried chicken and bacon on it. It was pretty dang epic. That made me happy. I tried to inquire if there was some sort of challenge where those who ate it got a t shirt, but that wasn’t the case. I tried to add in that I’m on a journey to each state, a little something to sweeten the deal for getting a shirt but no luck. Regardless, it was a good meal, good company, and I have other free shirts!
After a nice dinner, my buddy and I chatted for a bit to hang out. I find it funny how moving states and a different event beyond normal work can lead to a stronger friendship. It does make me appreciate this journey though, having an opportunity to better know other people and this was a great example of that.
The next morning, I was needing some exercise. I made a little circuit with a jog, burpees, then jog, lunges and pushups. It wasn’t killer as I was limited on time, trying to balance getting enough sleep, yet some time for a workout before leaving. It was nice to get the heart rate up and some sweat out prior to heading out for the day.
I headed out and spoke with someone at Clown Shoes Brewing. They told me the owner wasn’t around but shared more information with me how they have a tight supply chain, meaning beer sits no longer than a week, often much shorter prior to shipping out. Before departing he gave me some beers which was a great start to the day! I took a cool pic to share, and have since shared those beers with people.
I then needed only one more gym before heading to upstate New York. I found CrossFit Merrimack and when I got to the area by the gym, it was still during a class so I killed some time in the car, getting caught up with social media. I then went in and could meet with the owner. I heard that a passion for personal health, lead to a grind over time building up the gym with minimal investment. The focus was getting help in the community to create good products and related to that was realizing within the gym there is an incredible array of people and skills that can be tapped for numerous benefits.
Finally, my time in Massachusetts had come to an end. I had a nice reflective drive up to New York ahead.